Yeary, John (1796–1854)

By: David Minor

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: September 1, 1995

John Yeary, soldier, Indian fighter, and early settler of Collin County, was born in Virginia in 1796. He spent the first part of his adult life as a soldier in the United States Army, rising to the rank of captain. In 1830 he traveled to northwest Arkansas, where he was in charge of mowing and baling hay for mounted regiments throughout the southwest. In 1839, attracted by the opportunities provided by the Republic of Texas, Yeary and six families moved to Fannin County. He settled near present day Ladonia where, following the defense of his home against an Indian attack on March 14, 1841, in which his wife suffered an arrow wound, he established a reputation as an Indian fighter. When repeated attacks occurred in the area Yeary accompanied Texas Ranger Edward H. Tarrant on an expedition against the Indians in 1842. Yeary was present when John B. Denton was killed on a scouting party for the expedition. Two years later Yeary was one of five men empowered by the Texas Congress to select the right-of-way for the Central National Road of the Republic of Texas. The five also were to clear and build bridges for the road. The men received land as compensation for their work. Yeary laid claim to 640 acres, two to three miles northwest of Floyd. The locust post at the southeast corner of his land became the forty-eight-mile post for the National Road. During his survey of possible sites for the road Yeary found the productive farmland in Collin County attractive. In 1845, following his work for Congress, he moved near the site of present-day Farmersville, originally called Yeary's Place, and later Sugar Hill, where he opened a store and worked a farm. By 1852 Yeary had accumulated 127 acres of land in Collin County on which he worked the four slaves he owned. Yeary had eleven children with Elizabeth (Chinault), who died in 1853. About a year later he married Mrs. Allen Daniels. On Christmas Eve, 1854, Yeary was killed attempting to stop a fight in his store. He was buried in the Jones-Yeary cemetery near Farmersville.

J. Lee and Lillian J. Stambaugh, A History of Collin County (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1958). Rex Wallace Strickland, "History of Fannin County, Texas, 1836–1843," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 33, 34 (April, July 1930). J. W. Williams, "The National Road of the Republic of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 47 (January 1944).
  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Military
  • Soldiers

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

David Minor, “Yeary, John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995